Coronavirus update, Aug. 26, 2021: Tens of thousands of Czech students fell behind with distance learning

Plus: Education Ministry extending tutoring programs, Czechs no longer optimistic about Covid pandemic, R number rises back over 1.0. Staff

Written by Staff Published on 26.08.2021 09:56:00 (updated on 26.08.2021) Reading time: 3 minutes

Report: Tens of thousands of Czech students fell behind with distance learning

At least 36,500 primary school pupils and 18,000 secondary school students have serious gaps in knowledge and skills after long distance learning when school was closed. Students will need at least a full school year to address the widespread shortcomings, the Czech School Inspectorate (ČŠI) said. After resuming in-school education, ČŠI conducted a survey in June of teachers and principals. The ČŠI report states that the results represent initial estimates of teachers so far.

“It is clear that the extreme length of the period during which full-time teaching did not take place meant a significant intervention affecting the educational process for a whole generation of pupils," the ČŠI report said.

After school starts in September, it may turn out that many more schoolchildren will need more intensive support in catching up with the curriculum.

Education Ministry extending tutoring programs

Summer tutoring camps will be followed by autumn tutoring programs, Education Ministry spokeswoman Aneta Lednová told ČTK. Some CZK 250 million has been set aside for them and a National Tutoring Plan has been created. "In the first phase, direct tutoring of pupils will take place until Dec. 31, 2021. However, the National Tutoring Plan does not end in 2021. Support for tutoring will continue at least until the end of the 2022/2023 school year from the National Renewal Plan," Lednová said. There is a website on tutoring for schools, non-profit organizations, and parents. There will also be more videos and materials for tutors, and associations can offer their services.

Czechs no longer optimistic about Covid pandemic

Czechs' optimism regarding the development of the Covid pandemic considerably decreased, according to a poll conducted by the CVVM institute. In July, only 27 percent of Czechs said the situation regarding the spread of coronavirus would improve in the months to come and 40 percent a worsening. In the two previous polls in April and June, over 60 percent said the situation would improve, while only about one-tenth expected a worsening. At the end of June and beginning of July, the epidemic started accelerating again, following a long-term decrease. Only one-tenth of Czechs believe the government measures against coronavirus are insufficient. Two-thirds of them say the measures are adequate and 15 percent denoted them as exaggerated.

One-quarter of Czechs oppose vaccination

Opponents of vaccination account for 24 percent of Czechs, according to a CVVM poll conducted in July. One half of Czechs said they had been vaccinated with at least one dose and 22 percent said they would do so. People between 20 and 29 most often tend to reject vaccination. In this group, over two-fifths of them are against it. Some 29 percent in this age group have been inoculated with at least one dose. The smallest share of opponents of vaccination is among people over 60. It is rejected by only 12 percent of them, while 60 percent have complete vaccination and another 9 percent received at least one dose. Another 17 percent of those over 60 are ready to be inoculated.

Payments for tourism support program completed

The Ministry of Regional Development has completed the payment from the Covid tourism support program. CZK 376.3 million went to 1,517 applications from travel agencies and guides, ministry spokesman Vilém Frček said. The government set aside CZK 500 million for the program, and entrepreneurs submitted 1,832 applications. According to the office, some applications were withdrawn by the applicants themselves, others had to be rejected by the ministry due to non-compliance.

R number rises back over 1.0

The number of new Covid cases reported for Wednesday was 247, up from 209 a week earlier. Hospitalizations increased by two to reach 67, and serious cases increased by three to reach 14. No new deaths were reported for the fifth day in a row, but the toll was revised upward to 30,393 due to late reporting. The toll for August remains at 19. The incidence number of new cases per 100,000 over the past seven days stayed steady at 12. The reproduction number R hit 1.01, after having been below the break-even point of 1.0 for four days in a row. This means the pandemic is once again expanding. There were only 32,912 vaccination shots given out, and of those only 6,240 were first shots. For Prague, the incidence number is 30, up from 28 the previous day. The R number is 1.11, and above 1.0 for the second day in a row.

Latest Covid-19 data from the Czech Ministry of Health (Aug. 26, 2021)

  • New cases 247
  • Deaths 30,393
  • Currently hospitalized 67
  • PCR tests performed 9,874,526
  • Antigen tests performed 25,647,093
  • Total vaccinations 11,339,021
  • Daily increase in vaccinations 32,912
  • People who have completed vaccination 5,624,870
  • New cases per 100,000 in seven days 12
  • PES index 33
  • R number 1.01
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